In 1401, the City Council and the Deans of the Cathedral of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain), founded the Hospital de la Sancta Creu (Holy Cross). Its insane ward take care on about 10.000 insanes from 1402 to 1890 (women's ward) and to 1906 (men's ward). At the mid-19th Century the Board of Trustees decided to build a new psychiatric asylum, outside the city to place there a dramatic growing number on inmates. Doctor Emili Pi i Molist (1824-1892) wrote the technical project with the architect Josep Oriol i Bernadet in 1855-60. The new asylum was built between 1885 and 1915, sorrounded by a 300 acres (120ha) rural estate at 6 kms (4 miles) from the City of Barcelona. The new institution was a private hospital who also admit insanes from the public administrations. The Manicomio de la Santa Cruz was one of the most perfects examples of moral psychiatric architecture in Europe.
After the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the hospital became odd and the living conditions of the inmates were worse. Private clients deserted, and the Board of Trustees sold the rural estate to build the working class suburbs in North-Eastern Barcelona (Nou Barris). In the first seventies, the Board of Trustees accepted to begin a large medical reform enlarging the staff of doctors, nurses, ocupational therapists. It was a revolution inside, without any investment in the refurbishment of the building. Finally in 1986 the City Council and the Board of Trustees decided to close the institution. The inmates were deported to other asylums far from the city. Their mortality increased. The remaining building refurbished, became the siege of the City Council Authority of the Nou Barris District of Barcelona. The documentary retraces the history of the institution on the basis of his visual heritage, mainly composed by pictures, a documentary from the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, and a Super8 movie from 1974-76 done by the editor, Josep M. Comelles.